Checkpoint Bravo was the name of one of three Allied checkpoints used by the United States in the divided Germany and Berlin during the years after the Second World War and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Before 1969, this Checkpoint could be found on a bridge over the Teltow Canal. Still, it was moved to a different location called Albrechts Teerofen. Here, we will discuss the original and abandoned Checkpoint Bravo.
Most people know about Checkpoint Charlie, but most people don’t know that there were also Alpha and Bravo Checkpoints. All of them are named after the first letters in the NATO phonetic alphabet. Checkpoint Alpha was the Helmstedt-Marienborn border crossing, Checkpoint Bravo, and Charlie, were the border was between East and West Berlin. Still, only Bravo changed places.
We stumbled upon it in the woods while looking for something completely different.
Early in 2018, our friends from Canal Alemanizando shared the news that they visited the Church from Netflix’s series Dark. Once we knew about the location, we opened Google Maps. We realized that it was near where the Berlin Wall used to stand and next to these abandoned train tracks that we always wanted to explore. So, on a cold Sunday morning, we got our cameras ready and went on a walk from Wannsee to Stahnsdorf, exploring the Friedhofsbahn along the way.
Before we go into detail about the location and anything else, let us talk a bit about the history behind this special place in the forest between Berlin and Brandenburg.
Dreilinden Checkpoint Bravo and Teltow Canal Bridge
Before 1969, Checkpoint Bravo could be found on a motorway bridge over the Teltow Canal. The Autobahn A 115 used to have a different course at the time. It used to zig-zag between East and West Berlin since it was built before the Second World War and everything that happened to Berlin.
Since East Germany wanted to avoid having parts of the road crossing its territory and West Berlin, a new section of the motorway was built. This is the section that we have today, in the area known as Albrechts Teerofen. If you arrived in Berlin by bus or took a car around the south edge of the city, you probably have seen this place since it’s still standing there as the new Checkpoint Bravo.
Before they moved the Checkpoint Bravo to this new location, they left the old one in place as a relic of the past.
Around the location, you can see the remains of what used to be the motorway connecting the Berliner Ring to the old AVUS, which means, in German, Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße. This used to be the first exclusive road in the world when it opened to the public in 1921 for automobile sports events. Some segments of the way still exist today between Westen and Nikolasee. This was the place for the only Formula One Grand Prix in Berlin, back in 1959.
The old autobahn’s route ran around the Berlin city limits, next to the railway between Berlin and Potsdam. Next to the Dreilinden area, the road would bend south and lead towards the Teltow Canal, and this was where Checkpoint Bravo used to be located.
With the construction of the new autobahn and the move of the checkpoints at the border, Checkpoint Bravo was left in the middle of nowhere. East Germany erected pieces of the wall around the old border bridge and sealed the area. But the same didn’t happen on the West Berlin side of the border. The old highway was preserved and left in this no man’s land without any use. And the weirdest thing is that you can still walk around this area today.
And this is how history left this place.
During the 1970s, there was a campsite on the former Checkpoint Bravo, and some of the inspection buildings were demolished. To avoid issues with cars, a ditch was built on the West Berlin side of the border, and nothing much happened until the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
With the reunification of Berlin and Germany, the Berlin Wall section next to the Checkpoint Bravo was removed, and the old motorway route was opened again. It seems like the area was used as a film location for TV series like Alarm für Cobra 11.
At the end of 1999, the asphalt of the road was removed. The Friedhofsbahn train bridge was dismantled as well and, today, it’s a know graffiti spot in the area. In 2004, the campsite was closed, and, in 2010, a mysterious bidder bought the entire area for 45,000 euros, the minimum bid asked for this place.
As we said before, we came to see Checkpoint Bravo in early 2018 on our way between Wannsee and Stahnsdorf. Before we got there, we managed to find the bridge used in the series Dark and some pieces of the Friedhofsbahn. But we didn’t expect to see this in the state that it was.
The state of this historical location is not the best. Plants are growing everywhere. The original writings on the road are disappearing, which is sad since this is probably, the only piece of the early days of the German division that has been preserved.
Around the bridge over the Teltow Canal, you can see the remains of an old resting area and even the blocking ditch. It was pretty cool to see the three-mast flag system used for the Allied flags be still in the same place.
A visit to the Checkpoint Bravo in Dreilinden is fantastic for those interested in history and urban exploration. But we believe it’s better to enter the forest and follow the Friedhofsbahn trail as well. This way, you can see more history and other exciting photo spots along the way.
If you want to visit the original Checkpoint Bravo in Dreilinden, you have to check the map below. The most comfortable place to start your hiking trip is from the S-Bahn Wannsee, and walking there isn’t that complicated. Follow the map below, and you’ll be fine.
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this is the abandoned Checkpoint Bravo that dates back to the Cold War era. today you can just walk up there and see what is left. #travel #vscocam #fotostrasse #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #flashesofdelight #aband0n_all_h0pe #grime_lords #glitz_n_grime #forgotten #ig_abandoned #urbanexploring #ig_deutschland #diestadtberlin #berlinstagram #iphoneography #iphoneonly
Exploring the Original Checkpoint Bravo and the Teltow Canal Bridge in Dreilinden
14109, Kanalauenweg, Berlin